GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga - Gwinnett County’s police chief confirmed that “the danger to the community is over” after officers shot and killed the teenager who they said opened fired on one of their own Saturday, killing the officer.
Sources confirmed to Channel 2 Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Tony Thomas on Monday morning that police had located Tafahree Maynard, who was wanted in the killing of Officer Antwan Toney. Shortly after, they confirmed Maynard was dead.
Sources say man accused of killing Gwinnett Police Officer Antwan Toney is dead . pic.twitter.com/eI1kbiP6jI— Tony Thomas (@TonyThomasWSB) October 22, 2018
Toney was shot while responding to a suspicious vehicle parked near Shiloh Middle School in unincorporated Snellville on Saturday.
U.S. Marshals arrested Isaiah Pretlow, 19, Saturday night and charged him with aggravated assault. Maynard had been on the run ever since.
Throughout the weekend, police received tips to Maynard’s whereabouts, but it wasn’t until early Monday morning that investigators said a credible tip led them to a neighborhood off of Hewett Road.
Gwinnett County Police Chief Butch Ayers said in a news conference Monday afternoon, that two police officer were led to wooden shed behind a home.
"The officers opened up the door and immediately saw someone inside," Ayers said, with officers confirming Maynard was the man inside. "Mr. Maynard was issued verbal commands. He failed to comply with those commands."
When he didn't, investigators said they shocked Maynard with a Taser.
Ayers said prior to being shocked, Maynard had one of his hands behind his back. After being shocked, police said Maynard showed a weapon.
"At one point he did show his hand which contained an edged weapon," Ayers said. Authorities later confirmed Maynard was holding a lawnmower blade.
After seeing the weapon, the second officer at the scene open fire on Maynard, killing him.
Ayers said he has asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into the officer-involved shooting part of the investigation. He said Gwinnett police and the district attorney’s office will continues the investigation into the fatal shooting of Toney.
Ayers said the department will also investigate anyone who may have aided Maynard in his escape from police.
Chaos erupts as suspect is shot
Neighbor Ronnie Thompson said told Channel 2 Action News that he came face-to-face with the accused cop killer. Thompson said he went outside to walk his dog when he saw Maynard sitting on a large rock in a neighbor’s yard.
“He was just sitting there like he was trying to catch some sunshine,” Thompson said. “I said something to him and he got up and tried to walk away from me and when he tried to walk away from me, he ran between this trailer and that guys house up the hill.”
He told Thomas Maynard took off toward the home where police ultimately shot him.
“Just a matter of seconds and it was chaos,” neighbor Elijah Somerville said about the moments leading up to Maynard’s shooting. “I heard a couple of gunshots, probably five or six gunshots. We saw the police flying, the tanks going by.”
Somerville expressed some relief when learning the suspect was no longer a threat.
“I know the neighborhood feels a bit safer since everyone had been on hiatus since it happened,” Somerville said.
What led up to the deadly shooting?
Toney was shot while responding to a suspicious vehicle parked near Shiloh Middle School in unincorporated Snellville.
Smith said someone reported the vehicle and that the people inside may have been smoking marijuana.
Toney and another officer approached the vehicle and that's when someone started shooting from inside the car.
"Before they could even get to the vehicle, shots rang out," Smith said.
Who is Officer Antwan Toney?
Toney is the fifth Gwinnett County police officer killed in the line of duty and the first since 1993.
The 30-year-old officer was just days from celebrating his third anniversary with the department on Oct. 26.
Toney's family is now planning his funeral for Wednesday. They're preparing to fly to Georgia from Southern California.
Dozens stopped by the Gwinnett County Police Headquarters Sunday to pay their respects to the fallen officer.
“He risked his life, taking this job and becoming a Gwinnett police officer, and I think it’s just so amazing. He was just a hero, a hero," Christiana Woodruff said.
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